Presentation Slides
Curse or blessing?

Presentation slides: it is almost impossible to attend a presentation or talk without experiencing them being used. Power Point probably being the most popular package. My question is a simple one: is this a curse or a blessing?

The existence of 'Just Say No To Power Point Week' (February 3 - 9) might immediately suggest that it is a curse. This encourages presenters and speakers to do without their power point for the week and use alternative approaches to visual stimulation.

In reality, any slide package, or other visual aid for that matter, can be both a curse and a blessing.It really boils down to how you use it. This is the challenge. Most presenters completely miss the point. Slides are visual aids. You design them to support what you are saying in a way that helps your audience receive and understand your key messages.

Statistically, the majority of people prefer visual information. The old saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words' certainly holds true in presentations. This being the case, why do so many presenters miss-interpret this and work on the basis that a picture of a thousand words is worth a thousand word? Words projected onto a screen is not really a visual image. It is a picture of some words that will still be read by the audience (and often the presenter).

Click HERE to see a great example of visual storytelling.

Powerpoint is a great tool if used well and can really help you get your messages received and understood. The curse comes from poor design and use. You can also find help and ideas at Indezine.

Indezine is about PowerPoint techniques, tutorials, reviews, interviews, etc. It's also home to the bi-weekly PowerPoint ezine.

Guy Kawasaki suggests the we follow the 10:20:30 rule. This is one of my favourite presentation ideas.

No more than 10 presentation slides

No longer than 20 minutes

No text smaller than 30 point font

Try looking back at some previous presentations and applying the rule. It is really challenging. What it does do is force you to think differently about how you put your presentation ideas into your slide package. That's also what the 'Just Say No To Power Point Week' achieves. It forces you to stand back and review whether you have fallen into the habit of taking the easy option (power point does inadvertently encourage this) rather than designing your presentation visuals to engage with your audience.

Go on - give it a try.

Richard Lock: International trainer, speaker,and coach helping businesses and individuals learn the secrets of effective communication.

To find out more about workshops, self study options, 'live online' virtual classroom sessions , personal coaching or other blended learning approaches please get in touch.

See also:

RHL Associates for management development